Emerging AI technology leaves future of jobs uncertain

Over the past few months, the use of artificial intelligence has become more common. This technology has affected the workforce in a variety of industries. Companies are now turning to artificial intelligence which has now begun to affect employment. 

Averey Joseph, a senior at SUNY Oswego majoring in information science, said that she is looking forward to see how AI will be in the future.

“I’m excited about AI but I’m also terrified of AI because right now ChatGPT is taking over everything, and I feel that I’m not gonna have a job in the next 10 years,” she said.

According to Forbes, workers are beginning to be afraid of layoffs, hiring, and freezes, in addition to inflation. Forbes also reports how Goldman Sachs AI, an investment bank, is predicting that 300 million jobs will be lost or go away because of this system.

In the World Economic Forum’s 2020 report on the future of jobs, globally by 2025, 93% of companies surveyed will adopt artificial intelligence. Among the range of industries mentioned, financial services has an average of 20.8% of workers at risk of displacement. 

With the state of technology jobs, CNBC reported that these changes have forced workers to either change their job or lose them. This concern is also one that Joseph shares as she looks toward a possible career in data analytics.

“Once AI is able to access files I won’t be able to have a job…I feel like in my career I have to constantly learn something new to keep a job,” she said. 

OpenAI found in a recent study that “the creator of ChatGPT, found that roughly 80% of the U.S. workforce could have at least 10% of their work tasks affected by the introduction of learning models in GPT tech, while roughly 19% of workers might see 50% of their tasks impacted.”

Antoine Okeke, a junior at SUNY Oswego majoring in technology management, says that while AI can be beneficial, it pushes people to compete and do more.

“When you have a system like that where you don’t have to pay this person and it’s good and it’s perfect, now we gotta become better and up the learning curve,”  he said.

This week, IBM Corporation announced that they would halt hiring for jobs they think AI could be used for. This would affect the state of jobs at their company in the next five years and replace around 7,800 jobs, according to Bloomberg.

When asked about why it’s important for jobs to still hire employees, Okeke said that human beings offer something that this technology does not. 

“We’re creative we have a lot of ins and outs and look at things from different standpoints…to have human beings on the side to think of new things and use AI as a reference and to understand that it’s a helping tool rather than a solution,” he said.

John Kane, a professor at SUNY Oswego, said that this has been something that’s been evolving over time. While people may be laid off, Kane says that it can offer some benefits in other areas, and AI’s future impact is not quite clear. 

“No one knows right now. It is an area of concern that economists generally have argued for centuries that having more automation, while it does cause some people to lose jobs, it allows us to be more productive and produce more, and that generates more demand for other types of jobs,” he said. 

One main reason that companies have for prioritizing AI is that it prevents the presence of human error. Overall, allowing companies to increase their productivity while saving money that can be used elsewhere. Okeke says that this technology could assist him in the future, with some mistakes he may make. 

“Using AI to look over my stuff and make sure that I can actually be the best person that I am,” he said.

Okeke says that AI technology has both pros and cons to what it can offer the workforce. One pro that he says is the range in the ability to create things. But, one con is that the future and the course that it will take are unknown. 

“It’s going to take over what human beings would do before…but then once we’re done with it what does that leave for human beings and what does this leave for the space for us to develop and actually grow,” he said.